Farmers seeds reduce to a handful

Over the last 15 years, new kinds of hybrid and GM seeds have already spread extensively in Pakistan through informal means, as well as the active manipulation of farmers by seed organisations that offer free sample seeds with productivity promises — without telling farmers that these seeds are genetically modified and can potentially contaminate neighbouring fields as well. Coupled with the Green Revolution earlier, these recent practices have reduced desi crop varieties to such an extent that, according to Dr Azra Saeed (executive director of Roots for Equity), indigenous seed has been “reduced to a handful.” In such a context, why is Pakistan hastily passing laws to promote the further spread of commercial and GM seed?